Saturday, April 9, 2011


"What We Need to Learn is Learn about past"

Red=war-revolution, Blue = oil, Brow=gold-financial-monetary, Violet = politics, Pink=IMF/UN/WorldBank, Natural = green)

  • "creation of the Bank and debt as money." (B)

  • U.S. antitrust law of 1911 led to the breaking up of Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust.
  • South Africa's first home-based public limited company, the Anglo American Corporation of South Africa Limited (Anglo)was founded
  • 19 to 26 April: San Remo agreement It determined the allocation of Class "A" League of Nations mandates for administration of the former Ottoman-ruled lands of the Middle East.
  •  10 April to 19 May: Genoa Conference - representatives of 34 countries convened to speak about monetary economics in the wake of World War I. The purpose was to formulate strategies to rebuild central and eastern Europe after the war, and also to negotiate a relationship between European capitalist economies, and the new Russian Communist economy (Georgy Chicherin).
    Among the propositions formulated at the conference was the proposal that central banks make a partial return to the Gold Standard. The Gold Standard had been dropped to print money to pay for the war. Central banks wanted a return to a gold-based economy for easing international trade and facilitating economic stability, but wanted a form of Gold Standard that "conserved" gold stocks - meaning that the gold remained in their vaults and day-to-day transactions were conducted with the representative paper notes.
  • 24 July Treaty of Lausanne The Treaty of Lausanne was a peace treaty signed in Lausanne, Switzerland on 24 July 1923, that settled the Anatolian and East Thracian parts of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire.[1] The treaty of Lausanne was ratified by the Greek government on 11 February 1924, by the Turkish government on 31 March, and by the governments of Great Britain, Italy and Japan on 6 August. It was registered in the League of Nations Treaty Series on 5 September 1924.[2] The Treaty of Lausanne superseded the Treaty of Sèvres which was signed by representatives of the Ottoman Empire. The treaty was the consequence of the Turkish War of Independence between the Allies of World War I and the Ankara-based Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Turkish national movement) led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The treaty also led to the international recognition of the sovereignty of the new Republic of Turkey as the successor state of the defunct Ottoman Empire.

  • July 31: Red Line Agreement The Red Line Agreement is the name given to an agreement signed by partners in the Turkish Petroleum Company (TPC) on July 31, 1928. The aim of the agreement was to formalize the corporate structure of TPC and bind all partners to a self-denial clause that prohibited any of its shareholders from independently seeking oil interests in the ex-Ottoman territory. It marked the creation of an oil monopoly, or cartel, of immense influence, spanning a vast territory. The cartel preceded easily by three decades the birth of another cartel, the Organization Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which was formed in 1960.  
  • Achnacarry served as the meeting place for global petroleum producers in an effort to set production quotas.
  • September 17: The Achnacarry Agreement or "As-Is Agreement" was an early attempt to restrict petroleum production 
  • The discovery of the East Texas Oil Field in the 1930s led to a boom in production that caused prices to fall, leading the Railroad Commission of Texas to control production. The Commission retained de facto control of the market until the rise of OPEC in the 1970s.
  • March 4: Not quite 20 years after the establishment of the Fed, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated for his first term in office.  ~The Privateer
  • March 6: Using a wartime statute passed in 1917, Mr Roosevelt issued a proclamation closing every bank in the U.S. for four days. The banks were closed from March 6 to March 9.  ~The Privateer
  • March 9: Day One of "The Hundred Days". The President called a Special Session of the newly-elected Democratic Congress for the purpose of debating an act prepared in advance by the President's advisors. In a few hours, with minimal if any debate, Congress passed the act: "to provide relief in the existing national emergency in banking, and for other purposes"~The Privateer
  • April 5: President Roosevelt, acting under the sweeping authority passed to him by Congress on March 9, signed Presidential Executive Order 6102 which invoked his authority to make it unlawful to own or hold gold coins, gold bullion, or gold certificates. The export of Gold for purposes of payment was also outlawed, except under license from the Treasury.  ~The Privateer
  • June 5: A joint resolution signed by the President was introduced into Congress. This resolution abrogated the gold clause on all existing government and private contracts. Needless to say, the resolution passed.  ~The Privateer
  • October: The Roosevelt Administration decided to implement a policy suggested by Professor George F. Warren of Cornell University. This policy advocated controlling "inflation" (firmly defined by this time as "rising prices") by raising and lowering the "gold content" of the Dollar. This policy was implemented, amongst many others, under the first big measure of the New Deal, the "National Recovery Act" (NRA). By January of 1934, the "adjustable Dollar policy" was an obvious and perceived failure, and it was dropped. The NRA itself was declared Unconstitutional on May 27, 1935. ~The Privateer
  • January 30: The "Gold Reserve Act" became law. It had passed through Congress in five days, with minimal debate. Under this act, the Federal Government took away title to all "Gold Certificates" and gold held by the Federal Reserve Bank (the independent Fed?) and vested sole title with the U.S. Treasury. The Fed banks were to be provided with "Gold Certificates" in return for their Gold, but these certificates had no specific value in Gold assigned to them. When one witness testifying before the Senate Committee protested, he was taken aside by an Administration Senator and the situation explained to him:
    "Doctor, you don't understand about these gold certificates. These are not certificates that you can get gold. These are certificates that gold has been taken away from you." ~The Privateer
  • January 31: The day after the passage of the Act, President Roosevelt fixed the weight of the Dollar at 15.715 grains of Gold "nine-tenths fine". The Dollar was thereby devalued from $20.67 to one troy ounce of Gold to $35.00 to one troy ounce of Gold - or by 69.3 percent. The Treasury, which had become the possessors of all the nation's Gold on the previous day, saw the value of their Gold holdings increase by $US 2.81 Billion. The Treasury now "owned" the Gold, and no one else inside the U.S. was allowed to own any Gold except by the express permission of the Treasury.
    (The new ratio of $US 35 was adopted at Bretton Woods in July 1944. The U.S. Dollar was made the world's Reserve Currency and the IMF and World Bank established in 1947. The now international ratio of 35 U.S. Dollars to one troy ounce of Gold lasted until August 15, 1971.) ~The Privateer
  • February 16, 1943, President F.D. Roosevelt said, "the defense of Saudi Arabia is vital to the defense of the United States."
  • July 1: The Anglo-American Agreements of July 1, 1944 were concluded at Bretton Woods, USA to form the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, now the World Bank) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Agreements were convened by USA and Britain, and involved 44 nation-states from South America who signed the IBRD (now World Bank) and IMF into international law as International Governmental Organizations that came to replace European colonial system of bilateral trade arrangements. In 1945, the Anglo-American Agreements of 1944 were agreed upon by more than 180 states as instruments of the United Nations (UN). This is the correct version of the origins and continuity of the Anglo-American Agreements and their subsequent foundation of the current international economic order.
    In response Britain sought for a lead-lease loan from USA, which initiated the Bretton Woods Anglo-American Agreements that still have the force of law under the umbrella of the IBRD/World, IMF, International Finance Corporation (IFC), International Development Agency (IDA). The IBRD/World Bank and IMF were initiated to benefit USA in terms of contributing to real growth through external investments derived from loan-interests. In other words, the IBRD/World Bank and IMF were created to fail member states for the economic survival of USA and possibly her allied member states ; however, USA bears the highest poverty rate of over 60%. Yunus Lubega Butanaziba (1998, 2010) and Fred L. Block (1978) refer to this as the most serious problem of the failure of the Bretton Woods system it member states as the origins and continuity of the international economic disorders.
  • August 8: Anglo-American Petroleum Agreement - a failed attempt by the British and American governments to establish a lasting agreement to manage international petroleum supply and demand. The agreement would have established the International Petroleum Commission for the purposes of balancing discordant supply and demand, managing surplus, and bringing order and stability to a market laden with oversupply, but the agreement faced near total opposition from the petroleum industry, prompting U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt to withdraw and abandon the agreement. ~Yergin, Daniel. The Prize. New York: Free P, 2008
  • February 14: While returning from the Yalta Conference, Roosevelt met with King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia on the Great Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal, the first time a U.S. president had visited the Persian Gulf region.
  • December 29: Only two days before the expiration of Bretton Woods, Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslave Molotov notified George Kennan, “that for the amount [offered] the U.S.S.R. would not subscribe to the articles” (James et al., 1994, p. 617). Two months later, in February 1946, Kennan sent his famous telegram to Washington, which inquired into why the U.S.S.R. had not ratified the Bretton Woods Agreement. The telegram would later be regarded as the beginning of US Cold War policy (James et al., 1994).
  • July 15: Anglo-American Loan Agreement - The loan was negotiated by J.M.Keynes on behalf of the United Kingdom from the United States and Canada at the end of World War II
  • Venezuela was the first country to move towards the establishment of OPEC by approaching Iran, Gabon, Libya, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, but OPEC was not set up until 1960, when the United States forced import quotas on Venezuelan and Persian Gulf oil in order to support the Canadian and Mexican oil industries. OPEC first wielded its power with the 1973 oil embargo against the United States and Western Europe. 
  • October: President Harry Truman wrote to King Ibn Saud that "the United States is interested in the preservation of the independence and territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia. No threat to your Kingdom could occur which would not be a matter of immediate concern to the United States."
  • December Word reached Tehran that the American-owned Arabian American Oil Company had agreed to share profits with Saudis on a 50-50 basis.
  • The 1951 Accord, also known simply as the Accord, was an agreement between the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve that restored independence to the Fed.
  • In 1952 and 1953, the Abadan Crisis took place when Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq began nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC). Established by the British in the early 20th century, the company shared profits (85% for Britain, and 15% for Iran), but the company withheld their financial records from the Iranian government. By 1951, Iranians supported nationalization of the AIOC, and Parliament unanimously agreed to nationalize its holding of, what was at the time, the British Empire’s largest company. The British retaliated with an embargo on Iranian oil, which was supported by international oil companies. Over the following months, negotiations over control and compensation for the oil were deadlocked, and Iran's economy deteriorated.
  • August 19 Iranian coup d'état (known as the 28 Mordad coup), was the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh orchestrated by the intelligence agencies of the United Kingdom and the United States as operation TP AJAX. The coup saw the transition of Mohammad-Rezā Shāh Pahlavi from a constitutional monarch to an authoritarian one who relied heavily on U.S. support to hold on to power until his own overthrow in February 1979. The goal was to prevent Mossadegh from nationalizing the Anglo-Iranian oil company which later became British Petroleum.
    (Similarly in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez attempted to nationalize Venezuela's oil during the early years of his presidency. Hugo Chavez rapidly reversed policy after a 2002 failed coup following a strike and heavy protests concerning his policies towards PDVSA. This coup was backed by the governments of the United States and Spain, as is documented in Tariq Ali's book, Pirates of the Caribbean.)
  • a Shell geophysicist named M. King Hubbert accurately predicted that U.S. oil production would peak in 1970.
  • November 23, in a speech in Strasbourg, de Gaulle announced his vision for Europe:
    "Oui, c’est l’Europe, depuis l’Atlantique jusqu’à l’Oural, c’est toute l’Europe, qui décidera du destin du monde."
    ("Yes, it is Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals, it is the whole of Europe, that will decide the destiny of the world.")

  • By the beginning of the 1960s, the $US 35 = 1 oz. Gold ratio was becoming more and more difficult to sustain. Gold demand was rising and U.S. Gold reserves were falling, both as a result of the ever increasing trade deficits which the U.S. continued to run with the rest of the world. ~The Privateer

  • Shortly after President Kennedy was Inaugurated in January 1961, and to combat this situation, newly-appointed Undersecretary of the Treasury Robert Roosa suggested that the U.S. and Europe should pool their Gold resources to prevent the private market price for Gold from exceeding the mandated rate of $US 35 per ounce. Acting on this suggestion, the Central Banks of the U.S., Britain, West Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg set up the "London Gold Pool" in early 1961.  ~The Privateer
  • The increased IMF credit was arranged through a procedure called the
    General Arrangements to Borrow
  • Bundesbank was persuaded to hold its reserves in dollars and not gold, a controversial arrangement that the Federal Republic refused to formalize or publicize until 1967.
  • November 1: London Gold pool - to cooperate in maintaining the Bretton Woods System of fixed-rate convertible currencies and defending a gold price of US$35 per troy ounce by interventions in the London gold market. The United States provided 50% of the required gold supply for sale. The price controls were successful for six years when the system became no longer workable because the world's supply of gold was insufficient, runs on gold, the British pound, and the US dollar occurred, and France decided to withdraw from the pool.



  •  OPEC has maintained its headquarters in Vienna since 1965


  • The London Gold Pool came unstuck when the French, under Charles de Gaulle, reneged and began to send the Dollars earned by exporting to the U.S. back and demanding Gold rather than Treasury debt paper in return. Under the terms of the Bretton Woods Agreement signed in 1944, France was legally entitled to do this. The drain on U.S. Gold became acute, and the London Gold Pool folded in April 1968. But the demand for U.S. Gold did not abate.  ~The Privateer
    The London Gold Pool controls were followed with an effort to suppress the gold price with a two-tier system of official exchange and open market transactions, but this gold window collapsed in 1971 with the Nixon Shock, and resulted in the onset of the gold bull market which saw the price of gold appreciate rapidly to US$850 in 1980.


  • January 1: U.S. Federal oil depletion allowance reduced from 27.5 to 22.0 percent.
  • May 3: TAP line from Saudi Arabia to the Mediterranean interrupted in Syria, creating all-time tanker rate highs from June to December.
  • September 4 - October 9 Libya raises posted prices and increases tax rate from 50 percent to 55 percent. Iran and Kuwait follow in November.
  • December 9: OPEC meeting in Caracas establishes 55 percent as minimum tax rate and demands that posted prices be changed to reflect changes in foreign exchange rates.
  • Since the agreements of 1971 and 1973, OPEC oil is exclusively quoted in US dollars. This created a permanent demand for dollars on the international exchange markets.
  • January 12: Negotiations begin in Teheran between 6 Persian Gulf oil producing countries and 22 oil companies.
  • February 3: OPEC mandates "total embargo" against any company that rejects the 55 percent tax rate.
  • February 14: Tehran agreement signed. Companies accept 55 percent tax rate, immediate increase in posted prices, and further successive increases.
  • February 24: Algeria nationalizes 51 percent of French oil concessions.
  • March 1971, four months before Nixon closed the Gold window, the "permanent" U.S. debt ceiling had been frozen at $US 400 Billion.
  • April 2: Libya concludes five weeks of negotiations with Western oil companies inTripoli on behalf of itself, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Iraq. Agreement raises posted prices of oil delivered to Mediterranean from $2.55 to $3.45 per barrel; provides for a 2.5 percent annual price increase plus inflation allowance; raises tax rate from a range of 50-58 percent to 60 percent of posted price.
  • July 31: Venezuela's Hydrocarbons Reversion Law mandates gradual transfer to government ownership of all "unexploited concession areas" by 1974 and "all their residual assets" by 1983.
  • August 15: U.S. Government institutes Phase I price controls. Invoking the powers granted to the president by the Economic Stabilization Act of 1970, President Richard Nixon orders 90-day nationwide freeze on all wages, prices, salaries and rents. President Richard Nixon unilaterally suspended the convertibility of dollars into gold, effectively ending the gold standard. The United States then entered negotiations with its industrialized allies to appreciate their own currencies, in response to this change.
  • September 22: OPEC directs members to negotiate price increases to offset the devaluation of the U.S. dollar.
  • November: U.S. Phase II price controls begin. Plan is to allow for gradual 2-3 percent annual price increases, however, domestic petroleum prices remain at Phase I levels.
  • December 5: Libya nationalizes British Petroleum concession.
  • Nixon Shock, when the US unilaterally suspended the direct convertibility of the United States dollar to gold and made the transition to a fiat currency system. The last currency to be divorced from gold was the Swiss Franc in 2000.
  • December: The Smithsonian Agreement  that ended the fixed exchange rates established at the Bretton Woods Conference of 1944. The Group of Ten agreed to appreciate their currencies against the United States dollar.
  • January 20: Six exporting countries - Abu Dhabi, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia - conclude ten days of meetings with Western oil companies. An agreement is reached to raise the posted price of crude by 8.49 percent to offset the loss in value of oil concessions attributable to the decline in value of the U.S. dollar.
  • March 11: OPEC threatens "appropriate sanctions" against companies that "fail to comply with . . . any action taken by a Member Country in accordance with [OPEC] decisions."
  • June 1: Iraq nationalizes Iraq Petroleum Company's (IPC) concession owned by British Petroleum, Royal Dutch-Shell, Compagnie Francaise des Petroles, Mobil and Standard Oil of New Jersey (now Exxon). The concessions were valued at over one billion dollars.
  • June 9: In a show of support for Iraq, OPEC moves to prevent companies whose interests were nationalized in Iraq from increasing production elsewhere; appoints mediators between Iraq and IPC.
  • September 30: Libya acquires a 50 percent interest in two ENI concessions.
  • October 27: OPEC approves plan providing for 25 percent government ownership of all Western oil interests operating within Kuwait, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia beginning on January 1, 1973, and rising to 51 percent by January 1, 1983. (Iraq declines to agree.) Agreements signed on December 21.
  • Japan lifts prohibition on imports of gold.  Singapore liberalized the Gold market for residents.
  • January: The 1973–1974 stock market crash begins, as a result of inflation pressure, the Nixon Shock and the collapsing monetary system.
  • January 11: U.S. Phase III price controls begin. Allows for voluntary instead of mandatory price control on all U.S. prices. This does not prevent a sharp rise in heating oil prices caused by a severe winter and shortage of product.
  • January 17: President Nixon suspends mandatory oil import quota on No. 2 heating oil through April 30.
  • January 23: Shah of Iran announces that the 1954 operating agreement between a consortium of oil companies and Iran will not be renewed when it expires in 1979. The consortium was formed in 1954 as a means to settle a dispute between a new ministry in Iran and the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC). The consortium included Standard Oil of New Jersey, Standard Oil of California, SOCONY-Vacuum, the Texas Company, Gulf, Royal Dutch-Shell, the Compagnie Francaise de Petroles, and the AIOC.
  • February 28: Iraq and IPC reach an agreement on compensation for nationalization.
  • March: Special Rule No. 1 reimposes mandatory (Phase II) price controls on the 23 largest oil companies. Smaller companies, representing 5 percent of the market, enjoy uncontrolled prices.
  • March 16: Shah of Iran and Consortium members agree to nationalize all assets immediately in return for an assured 20-year supply of Iranian oil.
  • March 16: OPEC discusses raising prices to offset decline of U.S. dollar value.
  • April 1: OPEC increases posted prices by 5.7 percent.
  • April 18: U.S. Government ends Mandatory Oil Import Program. Program, established in 1959 by President Eisenhower, had limited imports of crude and product east of the Rocky Mountains to a percentage of domestic crude production.
  • June 1: Eight OPEC countries raise posted prices by 11.9 percent.
  • June 11: Libya nationalizes Bunker Hunt concession; Nigeria acquires 35 percent participation in Shell-BP concession.
  • June 14: Nixon administration imposes 60-day economy-wide price freeze, superseding Special Rule No. 1 for oil companies.
  • August: Libya nationalizes 51 percent of Occidental Petroleum concession and of the Oasis consortium.
  • August 17: President Nixon's Cost of Living Council imposes two-tier price ceiling on crude petroleum sales: production of "old" oil (that produced at or below 1972 levels from existing wells) to be sold at March 1973 prices plus 35 cents; production of "new" oil (that produced above 1972 levels from existing wells and oil produced from new wells) to be sold at uncontrolled prices.
  • September 1: Libya nationalizes 51 percent of nine other companies' concessions: Esso, Libya/Sirte, Mobil, Shell, Gelensberg, Texaco, SoCal, Libyan-American (ARCO), and Grace.
  • September 5: Conference of less developed countries approves forming "producers' associations," calls for withdrawal of Israeli forces from occupied Arab lands.
  • September 15: OPEC supports price hikes and designates six Persian Gulf countries to negotiate collectively with companies over prices. Other members to negotiate individually.
  • September: Kuwait rejects gradual participation increase plan, insists on immediate 60 percent participation.
  • October 6: Beginning of fourth Arab-Israeli War.
  • October 7: Iraq nationalizes Exxon and Mobil shares in Basrah Petroleum Company representing 23.75 percent equity in the company.
  • October 8: OPEC meets with oil companies to discuss revision of 1971 Tehran agreement and oil prices. Negotiations fail.
  • October 12: The United States initiates Operation Nickel Grass, an overt strategic airlift operation to provide replacement weapons and supplies to Israel during the Yom Kippur War. This followed similar Soviet moves to supply the Arab side.
  • October 16: The Gulf Six (Iran, Iraq, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar) unilaterally raise the posted price of Saudi Light marker crude 17 percent from $3.12 to $3.65 per barrel and announce production cuts.
  • October 17: OPEC oil ministers agree to use oil weapon in Arab-Israeli War, mandate cut in exports, and recommend embargo against unfriendly states.
  • October 19: US President R.Nixon requests Congress to appropriate $2.2billion in emergency aid to Israel. This decision triggered a collective Arab response. Libya proclaims an embargo on oil exports to the United States; Saudi Arabia and other Arab states follow.
  • October 23: Arab oil embargo extended to the Netherlands.
  • November 5: Arab producers announce 25 percent cut in production below September levels. Further cuts of five percent are threatened.
  • November 18: Arab oil ministers cancel the scheduled 5 percent cut in production for EEC.
  • November 23: Arab summit conference adopts open and secret resolutions on the use of the oil weapon. Embargo extended to Portugal, Rhodesia, and South Africa.
  • November 27: President Nixon signs the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act (EPAA). Authorizes petroleum price, production, allocation and marketing controls.
  • December 9: Arab oil ministers announce a further production cut of 5 percent for January for non-friendly countries.
  • December 22: OPEC Gulf Six decides to raise the posted price of marker crude from $5.12 to $11.65 per barrel effective January 1, 1974.
  • December 25: Arab oil ministers cancel January 5 percent production cut. Saudi Arabian oil minister promises 10 percent OPEC production rise.
  • Hong Kong liberalized the Gold market following the dissolution of the Sterling Area in 1972. EEC Finance Ministers reached the Zeist Accord under which Central Banks may trade Gold between themselves at market related prices. If Central Banks buy gold from the free market, the effect of these operations should not be to increase their net Gold holding. Finance Ministers of the Group of Ten agreed that Central Banks may use their Gold reserves as collateral at market related prices for foreign loans. President Ford of the USA and President Giscard Estaing of France agreed that Central Banks may revalue their Gold reserves at market related prices.  ~starlinggold
  • January 7–9: OPEC decides to freeze posted prices until April 1.
  • January 29: Kuwait announces 60 percent government participation in BP-Gulf concession; Qatar follows on February 20.
  • February 11: Washington Energy Conference opens. Attended by 13 industrial and oil producing nations. Called by U.S. to resolve the international energy problems through economic cooperation among nations. Henry Kissinger unveils Nixon Administration's seven-point "Project Independence" plan to make the U.S. energy independent. Libya nationalizes three U.S. oil companies that had not agreed to 51 percent nationalization in September.
  • February 12–14: Heads of state of Algeria, Egypt, Syria, and Saudi Arabia discuss oil strategy in view of the progress in Arab-Israeli disengagement.
  • March 18: Arab oil ministers announce the end of the embargo against the United States, all except Libya.
  • May 18: Nigeria announces 55 percent government participation in all concessions.
  • May 31: Diplomacy by Henry Kissinger produces a disengagement agreement on the Syrian front.
  • June 1–3: Arab oil ministers decide to end most restrictions on exports of oil to the United States but continue embargo against the Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, and Rhodesia.
  • June 4: Saudi Arabia announces that it will increase its participation in Aramco to 60 percent. Abu Dhabi and Kuwait follow in September. Increases are retroactive to January 1.
  • June 13: IMF establishes its "oil facility," a special fund for loans to nations whose balance of payments have been severely affected by high oil prices.
  • Jul 10-11: OPEC lifts the embargo against the Netherlands.
  • September 6: Saudi Arabia increases its buy-back price from 93 percent to 94.9 percent of posted price.
  • September 13: OPEC instructs its Secretary General to "carry out a study of supply and demand in relation to possible production controls."
  • Oct-November: Saudi Arabians raise tax rate to 85 percent and royalty rate to 20 percent.
  • November 15: International Energy Agency formed in Paris within OECD framework. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates announce a slight reduction in posted prices and tax rates.
  • December: The 1973–1974 stock market crash ends.
  • December U.S. Crude Oil Entitlements Program enacted, retroactive to November 1974.
  • December 22: Iraq announces plans to increase its production capacity to 3.5 MMB/D by 1975 and to 6 MMB/D by 1981.
  • The USA liberalized the Gold market. US Treasury auctioned and sold 2.5 million ounces of Gold. UK suspended imports of Gold coins issued after 1837 including Krugerrands. The Group of Ten agreed that the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) can participate in the IMF auctions. Members of IMF reached agreement to abandon the official Gold price and to restitute 50% of Gold to members at US$42.2222 an ounce. It was further agreed that Central Banks can buy and sell Gold in the free market and that 1/6 of the IMF Gold reserve was to be auctioned with the proceeds received used for helping under-developed countries. ~starlinggold
  • January 1, 1975, after 42 years, it again became "legal" for individual Americans to own Gold. Anticipating the demand, the U.S. Treasury in particular and many other Central Banks sold large quantities of Gold, taking large paper profits in the process. This had two results. It depressed the price of Gold, which fell to $US 103 in eighteen months. More important by far, it "burned" large numbers of small individual investors.
    (But this "pre-emptive strike" against the Gold price did not solve the imbalances inherent in the floating currency regime. As the Gold price began to recover from its August 1976 low, the (US-controlled) IMF along with the Treasury itself, began a series of Gold auctions in an attempt to hold down the price through official means. But the problem of yet another free fall in the international value of the Dollar got in the way. Between January and October of 1978, the Dollar lost fully 25% of its value against a basket of the currencies of its major trading partners. By early 1979, due to this precipitous fall, the demand for Gold was overwhelming the amount that the IMF/Treasury dared supply, and the Gold auctions came to an end.) ~The Privateer
  • January 1: U.S. Federal oil depletion allowance eliminated for large producers.
  • January 13: Business Week publishes Kissinger interview hinting at military action against oil countries in case of "actual strangulation."
  • January 15-16: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Interim Committee Board of Governors meets in Washington DC, USA. It agrees to increase the total of member countries' quota, to abolish the official price of gold and to give the special drawing right the central place in the international monetary system. ~eu
  • April 7–15: Preliminary meeting at Paris on world economic crisis between oil-exporting (Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela), oil-importing (European countries, U.S., Japan), and non-oil Third World countries (India, Brazil, Zaire). Talks collapse after nations fail to decide whether agenda should focus on oil/energy issues or have a broader economic scope.
  • April 9: Twenty-four OECD members sign an agreement to establish a $25 billion lending facility to provide assistance to industrial nations hurt by high oil prices.
  • June 13: World Bank establishes its "Third Window," a fund to make loans to countries too rich to qualify for "soft" no-interest loans, but too distressed to afford loans at the prevailing normal lending rates. Action represents significant cooperation between oil-exporting and industrial nations.
  • September 24: OPEC announces a 15 percent increase in government per barrel revenues as of October 1.
  • October 28: Venezuela and foreign oil companies agree on nationalization as of January 1, 1976.
  • December 1: Kuwait and Gulf and BP agree on terms of nationalization.
  • December 9: Iraq completes nationalization by taking over the BP, CFP, and Shell shares of the Basrah Petroleum Company.
  • December 22: President Ford signs the Energy policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) effective February 1976. Authorizes the establishment of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), participation in International Energy Program, and oil price regulation.
  • The Group of Ten agreed not to buy Gold in the free market before the revision of the IMF Articles of Association. However, they agreed that BIS can buy Gold on their behalf. Germany and Switzerland granted credit of US$250 million to Italy against collateral of Gold. South Africa announced the overseas loan granted to them against collateral of 5 million ounces of Gold. The IMF commenced monthly auctions of Gold which would continue for 4 years and 25 million ounces of Gold would be offered for sale. They would also restitutes a further 25 million ounces of Gold to the member countries in the Fund. ~starlinggold
  • The Gold Institute is established to promote the common business interests of the gold industry by providing statistical data and other relevant information to its members, the media, and the public, while also acting as an industry spokesperson. ~eia
  • February: EPCA 3-tier price regulation begins. Small changes in Entitlements Program.
  • April - May: Lebanese civil war causes a drop in Iraq exports through trans-Lebanon  pipelines to the Mediterranean.
  • May: OPEC  issues press release vowing to "take appropriate measures" to protect OPEC interests in light of protectionist actions by certain countries.
  • September 1: U.S. stripper well oil prices decontrolled.
  • December 14: 640-foot (200 m) oil tanker Argo Merchant runs aground on the Nantucket Shoals, spilling 7.6 million gallons of No. 6 fuel oil.
  • December: Moderates and OPEC "hawks" disagree on how fast oil prices should rise. Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates increase prices by 5 percent, others by 10 percent.
  • January: OPEC goes to two-tier pricing (Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates use $12.09 per barrel and other OPEC countries use $12.70per barrel).
  • May: Fifty percent of Saudi Arabia's 10 MMB/D production is halted briefly due to fire damage to separation facility in Abqaiq field. Prices increase slightly.
  • July: OPEC prices reunified at $12.70 per barrel as Saudi Arabia and UAE fall into line, then official price rises to $13.66 per barrel.
  • October 23: Dry dock complex opens at Bahrain; only facility between Portugal and Singapore capable of servicing VLCCs.
  • Yen strengthened to 180 per dollar, first endaka. 
  • Amended IMF articles are adopted, abolishing the official IMF price of gold, gold convertibility and maintenance of gold value obligations; gold is eliminated as a significant instrument in IMF transactions with members; and the IMF is empowered to dispose of its large gold holdings. By Act of Congress, the U.S. abolishes the official price of gold. Member governments are free to buy and sell gold in private markets.
  • U.S. Congress passes the American Arts Gold Medallion Act, representing the first official issue of a gold piece for sale to individuals in almost half a century.
  • Japan lifts ban on gold exports, touching off a “gold rush” among investors who can sell as well as buy.
  • January: Student protests against government of Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, begin, touching off a wave of political unrest and violent clashes between police and demonstrators. Throughout the year increasing anti-Shah activities are led by Muslim fundamentalists seeking to establish a Muslim state.
  • March: Amoco Cadiz tanker runs aground off the coast of France, spilling 1.6 million barrels (250,000 m3) of crude oil. (Largest crude spill to date.)
  • June: Iran and Saudi Arabia block efforts of OPEC price hawks to fix the price of OPEC oil in a currency more stable than the U.S. dollar. Say world economy cannot support associated price increases. Are accused by hawks of being U.S. agents.
  • September: Shah puts Iran under military rule. Muslim leader Noori arrested in crackdown of opposition groups.
  • October: Iranian strikes; departure of foreign technicians. Pipeline fire drops Iraqi production from 600,000 barrels per day (95,000 m3/d) to 300,000 barrels per day (48,000 m3/d).
  • November: Iranian oil production starts dropping.
  • December: Iranian production hits 1.5 MMB/D in mid-December; 500,000 on December 27, a 27-year low. OPEC production rises 1.6 MMBD over two months due to increased Saudi production.
  • December 17: OPEC decides on a 14.5 percent price increase for 1979, to be implemented quarterly.
  • The Iranian Revolution (also known as the Islamic Revolution or 1979 Revolution) refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy (Pahlavi dynasty) under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution.
  • January: First emergency Crude Oil Buy-Sell Program allocations.
  • January 16: Shah leaves Iran on vacation, never to return. Bakhtiar government established by the Shah to preside until unrest subsides.
  • January 20: Saudi Arabia announces drastic cut in first-quarter production. 9.5 MMBD ceiling imposed. Although actual cuts never reach announced levels, spot prices of Middle East light crudes rise 36 percent.
  • January 20: One million Iranians march in Teheran in a show of support for the exiled Ayatollah Khomeini, fundamental Muslim leader.
  • February 12: Bakhtiar resigns as prime minister of Iran after losing support of the military.
  • March 5: Iran resumes petroleum exports.
  • March 13: Setting up European Monetary system (EMS); temporary transfer of 20% each of the national gold and dollar reserves to the European Monetary Cooperation Fund (FECOM).
  • Spring: Gasoline shortage/world oil glut.
  • March 26: OPEC makes full 14.5 percent price increase for 1979 effective on April 1. Marker crude raised to $14.56 per barrel.
  • May: DOE announces $5 per barrel entitlement to importers of heating oil. Saudi Arabia announces intention to increase direct sales and to sell less through Aramco. Both announcements send prices higher.
  • June 1: Phased oil price decontrol begins. Involves gradual 28 month increase of "old" oil price ceilings, and slower rate of increase of "new" oil price ceilings.
  • June 26–28: OPEC raises prices average of 15 percent, effective July 1.
  • July: Paul Volcker was appointed as Fed Chairman by a desperate Jimmy Carter. Gold continued to surge, hitting $400 in October. While this was happening, Mr Volcker was attending a conference in Belgrade. There the assessment was made that the global financial system was on the verge of collapse. When Mr Volcker returned to the U.S. from Belgrade, he took a momentous step. He announced that the Fed was swiching its policy from controlling interest rates to controlling the money supply.~Privateer
  • October: Buy-Sell Program sales average more than 400,000 bbl/d (64,000 m3/d) from October 1979 through March 1980 - highest level since February 1976, due to emergency allocations.
  • October: Canada eliminates light crude oil exports to U.S. refiners, except for those exports required by operational constraints of pipelines.
  • November 4: Iran takes western hostages.
  • November 12: Carter orders cessation of Iranian imports to U.S.
  • November 15: Iran cancels all contracts with U.S. oil companies.
  • December 13: Saudi Arabia raises marker crude price to $24 per barrel.
  •  January 23: Carter doctrine which stated that the United States would use military force if necessary to defend its national interests in the Persian Gulf region. he doctrine was a response to the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union, and was intended to deter the Soviet Union—the Cold War adversary of the United States—from seeking hegemony in the Gulf. After stating that Soviet troops in Afghanistan posed "a grave threat to the free movement of Middle East oil,"
  • April 7:  the United States broke diplomatic relations with Iran, a break which has yet to be restored. 
  • April 24: Operation Eagle Claw resulted in an aborted mission and the deaths of eight American military men. The crisis ended with the signing of the Algiers Accords in Algeria on January 19, 1981.
  • IMF sells one-third of its gold holdings, 25 million troy ounces to IMF members at SDR 35/ounce in proportion to members’ shares of quotas on August 31, 1975, and 25 million troy ounces at a series of public auctions for the benefit of developing member countries.
  • U.S. Treasury sells 15.8 million troy ounces of gold to strengthen the U.S. trade balance.
  • January 19: The date the Algiers Accords treaty was signed, the hostages were released.  Iran hostage crisis resolved.
  • May 25: GCC created. The unified economic agreement between the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council was signed on November 11, 1981 in Abu Dhabi.
  • October: The "Reagan Corollary to the Carter Doctrine", which proclaimed that the United States would intervene to protect Saudi Arabia, whose security was threatened after the outbreak of the Iran–Iraq War. Thus, while the Carter Doctrine warned away outside forces from the region, the Reagan Corollary pledged to secure internal stability. According to diplomat Howard Teicher, "with the enunciation of the Reagan Corollary, the policy ground work was laid for Operation Desert Storm." Some analysts have argued that the implementation of the Carter Doctrine and the Reagan Corollary also played a role in the outbreak of the 2003 Iraq War.
  • January: Nine OPEC members adjust prices to cut gap between light and heavy crudes from $4 to $2.40 per barrel. Saudi light price cut one dollar to $28 per barrel.
  • March 11–19: Iranian offensive; heavy casualties.
  • May–June: "Battle of the cities" - heavy bombing from both Iran and Iraq.
  • June: OPEC output falls to 20-year low of 13.7 MMB/D.
  • June: Iran begins hit-and-run raids on Iraq.
  • July: OPEC loses customers to cheaper North Sea oil. More OPEC price cuts.
  • Aug: Saudi Arabia links prices to spot market. Output rises from 2 MMB/D in August to 5 MMB/D in early 1986.
  • Aug 15: First Iraqi air raid on Iran's main oil export terminal, Kharg Island.
  • September 22:  The Plaza Accord or Plaza Agreement was an agreement between the governments of France, West Germany, Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom, to depreciate the U.S. dollar in relation to the Japanese yen and German Deutsche Mark by intervening in currency markets.
  • November 6: Exploratory well in Ranger, Texas, blows out, spilling 150,000 BBLS of crude oil.
  • December: OPEC output hits 18 MMB/D boosting a glut and triggering a price war.
  • 1986–1988: yen further strengthened to 120 per dollar, second endaka.
  • January 7: The United States invokes the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, halting imports of all goods and services of Libyan origin. US companies are prohibited from engaging in industrial or commercial contracts with Libya.
  • February 3–4: OPEC fails to agree upon a production accord after a two-day meeting in Vienna.
  • February: Iran captures southern Faw peninsula], starts northern offensive.
  • May 7: Iraq bombs Tehran refinery.
  • June: OPEC production-cut talks fail, ending in a tentative majority pact on an average 1986 ceiling of 17.6 MMB/D.
  • June 8: Iraqi jets attack Assadabad satellite station.
  • June 30: The U.S. Treasury Department forces remaining U.S. oil companies to leave Libya but allows them to negotiate standstill agreements, retaining ownership for three years while allowing the Libyan National Oil Corporation to operate the fields.
  • July: Brent price dips under $9 per barrel. OPEC production rises to 20 MMB/D.
  • July 27: Iraqi jets attack central Iranian city of Arak. Iran threatens missile attack of gulf states supporting Iraq.
  • August 2: Hussein offers peace in open letter to Iran.
  • August 4: Reports of probable OPEC agreement on output quotas sends oil prices higher.
  • August 12: Iran fires missile at refinery near Baghdad. Iraq raids Iranian terminal at Sirri Island severely disrupting Iranian exports.
  • December 19: OPEC reaches an accord that would cut production by seven percent for the first six months of 1987 (from 17 MMB/D to 16 MMB/D) and would raise prices immediately toward a target world oil price of $18 per barrel.
  •  January: OPEC price accord begins to deteriorate.
  • February: OPEC majors stick to fixed prices.
  • February 22: The Louvre Accord was signed by the then G6 (France, West Germany, Japan, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom) to stabilize the international currency markets and halt the continued decline of the US Dollar caused by the Plaza Accord.
  • Jun-Aug: Gulf war escalates.
  • December: OPEC meeting failure.
  • February: OPEC price meeting set.
  • March: OPEC/Non-OPEC meeting failure.
  • July: Iran accepts cease fire.
  • July 8: Iran Air Flight 655 (IR655) was a civilian jet airliner shot down by U.S. missiles killing all 290 passengers and crew aboard, including 66 children, ranking it seventh among the deadliest airliner fatalities. USS Vincennes was traversing the Strait of Hormuz, inside Iranian territorial waters, and at the time of the attack IR655 was within Iranian airspace.
  • October 14: Crude oil prices jump in anticipation of possible production accord at Gulf Cooperation Council meeting set for October 16.
  • November 28: OPEC reaches production accord. Six-month agreement to set production at 18.5 MMB/D. Although the recent OPEC quota had been 19.0 MMB/D, actual OPEC production had been closer to 21.0 MMB/D.
  • December: Fulmar/Brent outages.
  •  March: Exxon tanker Valdez runs aground, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil in the waters of Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef. Oil prices react upward to news of the spill and to potential shortages on the west coast caused by refinery fires there.
  • June: OPEC raises their production ceiling to 19.5 MMB/D.
  • 1989–1995: yen fluctuated between 100 to 160 per dollar.
  • August: Crude and product prices soar upward; exchange markets react wildly to any Middle East news events; cash markets dominate prices after trading hours; jet fuel prices rise to record spreads over other products due to increase in defense demand. In late August, OPEC president fails to revive floundering attempts to organize a formal OPEC meeting to discuss crisis/production strategies. Informal meetings held in Vienna result in record price falls. Conflicting reports of promises to increase OPEC output to compensate for embargo of Iraq and Kuwait oil further compound market uncertainties.
  • August 2: Iraq invades Kuwait. Bush orders troops to Saudi Arabia.
  • August 27: Market prices plunge as OPEC nears informal agreement to increase output to cover 4 MMB/D shortfall due to invasion. Cash market trading experiences abrupt decline.
  • September 6: U.S. citizen is shot in Kuwait. API reports 4.4 MMB weekly draw in domestic crude stocks. Oil markets surge on aggressive U.S. statements toward Iraq.
  • September 21: Reports that U.S refinery problems will lead to a 200,000 B/D loss in capacity and aggressive remarks by Saddam Hussein send crude prices to new highs.
  • September 24: Iraq invades the French and Dutch missions in Kuwait; French President François Mitterrand called the action a violation of international law; a U.S. warship boards an Iraqi-flagged tanker bound for the port of Basrah.
  • September 18: Crude prices outpace increases in product prices and there is talk of cutting refinery runs.
  • September 20: Poor refining margins.
  • September 24: Saddam Hussein states his willingness to strike first and his intention to damage oil fields in the region if Iraq does strike.
  • October 1: Saddam Hussein says he may be willing to negotiate the occupation of Kuwait and would consider foreign participation in negotiations.
  • October 3: API reports a 9 MMB weekly U.S. crude inventory draw.
  • October 9: Fear of war and long-term supply disruptions as Hussein threatens Israel.
  • October 10: API reports crude inventories dropped by more than 4 MMB in the last week.
  • October 11: Libya's Muammar al-Gaddafi says Israel must be eliminated, and U.K. Foreign Secretary Hurd says force would be used if Iraq doesn't withdrawal from Kuwait.
  • November 5: Reports of increasing Saudi production and lower world demand.
  • November 6: Iran's oil-producing region suffers a serious earthquake.
  • November 7: API reports 5 MMB U.S. crude inventory weekly increase.
  • November 8: Unconfirmed rumors that Bush would announce an airlift of supplies to U.S. embassy in Kuwait, which could ultimately trigger a military clash.
  • November 13: Saudis ask U.S. for rights to bid on SPR crude.
  • November 19: Report that Iraq will bolster its forces in Kuwait.
  • November 20: API reports crude inventory drop in U.S. of more than 4 MMB; Saddam Hussein announces plans to release German hostages; Soviet Union shows reluctance to endorse the use of force against Iraq.
  • November 21: French President Mitterrand voices support of a proposed U.N. resolution that would authorize the use of force in the Persian Gulf.
  • November 26: U.S. proposes addition to U.N. resolution that would require Iraq's withdrawal from Kuwait by January 1.
  • November 29: U.N. Security Council approves U.S.-sponsored resolution authorizing the use of force in the Persian Gulf if Iraq does not withdrawal from Kuwait by January 15, 1991.
  • November 30: President Bush offers to send Secretary of State James Baker to Baghdad to meet with Hussein.
  • December 4: An Iraqi official reports that Iraq will withdraw if it can retain control of the Rumailah field and keep Bubiyan and Werbah islands; also says that demands that the Palestinian issue be treated separately would not be surmountable.
  • December 5: Iraq announces willingness to speak with U.S. about resolving the Persian Gulf crisis.
  • December 13: Secretary of State Baker questions Iraq's seriousness about Middle East peace.
  • December 18: Bush reiterates his "no concessions" stance against Iraq.
  •  January 4: Reports Iraq will accept U.S. offer for talks in Geneva.
  • January 7: Saddam Hussein prepares his troops for what he says will be a long violent war against the U.S.
  • January 9–14: At Geneva talks, Baker says that "regrettably" Iraqi Foreign Minister Aziz has indicated no softening in Iraq's position. Peace talks break down, but there is still talk of a peaceful solution to the crisis.
  • January 15: Report that Iraq has a new peace initiative.
  • January 16: U.S. begins air attack against Iraqi military targets. President Bush directs drawdown of Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). U.S. Secretary of Energy James Watkins orders 33.75 MMB drawdown. Crude oil prices drop $9–10 per barrel in one day after having risen $3–5 per barrel during the first half of January.
  • January 17: Reports of early U.S. and allied success against Iraqi forces; DOE issues SPR sales notice.
  • January 18: Iraqi Scud missiles land in Israel.
  • January 22: Kuwaiti oil facilities are destroyed by Iraq and more Iraqi missile attacks on Saudi Arabia.
  • January 30:DOE selects 13 firms to purchase 17.3 MMB of SPR crude oil.
  • February: Surplus of unsold oil held by oil producers reaches 80-90 MMB.
  • February 5: First SPR oil delivered to commercial buyers.
  • February 15: Daily market volatility as Hussein mentions withdrawal, but Bush calls his offer a "cruel hoax."
  • February 26: Signs of Iran crude now an option for U.S. refiners, but no imports from Iran likely in near future.
  • February 28: War ends. U.N. troops move into Kuwait City. Saddam Hussein orderstroops out of Kuwait. Iraqi soldiers ignite Kuwaiti oil fields during their retreat.
  • March 1: News that Kuwait will need to import crude in the short term.
  • March 12: OPEC announces production cut to 22.3 MMB/D.
  • March 13: API reports a 6 MMB weekly domestic crude inventory draw; Saudi Arabia and Iran say OPEC production cuts will take effect April 1.
  • March 19: Gorbachev says the Soviet Union will cut its oil exports by nearly half.
  • March 25: Nigerian crude becomes competitive in U.S. Gulf Coast as Nigeria cuts crude prices.
  • April 25: Iraq expects to resume crude and product exports by July.
  • June 3: Kuwait asks GCC members to produce 800,000 bbl/d (127,000 m3/d) of oil on its behalf.
  • Aug: Unsuccessful coup attempt against Soviet President Gorbachev has minimal effect on oil markets.
  • Oct: Soviet Union suspends petroleum product exports as its fuel shortages grow. NYMEX futures price for WTI climbs nearly $2, ending at $24 per barrel.
  • November: Last of Kuwait oil well fires extinguished by well control teams.
  • November: U.S. Senate filibuster causes withdrawal of an Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) pro-leasing bill.
  • December: Soviet Union collapses as a series of events precipitated by Ukrainian vote for independence leads to formation of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
  •  January: Kuwait reports oil production of 400,000 B/D; insists on restoration of its pre-invasion  OPEC quota of 1.5 MMB/D.
  • March: United Nations threatens sanctions against Libya for its refusal to extradite suspected terrorists.
  • March: Commonwealth of Independent States announces that 1991 crude exports dropped by 52%.
  • MaySaudi Arabia supports a crude oil price hike during a late-month OPEC meeting. NYMEX  Futures prices exceed $22 per barrel.
  • October: OPEC production reaches highest level in more than a decade at 25.25 MMB/D.
  • December: U.S., Mexico, and Canada sign the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
  • July: Oil prices plunge on speculation that Iraq will accept U.N. missile test site inspections and receive approval to resume oil exports.
  • November: Combination of OPEC overproduction, surging North Sea output, and weak demand lowers the price of Brent to near $15 per barrel.
  •  April: Oil Prices firm on strength of institutional shifting of U.S. investment funds from equity and bond markets to cash and commodities.
  • Apr-September: Nigerian oil production disrupted by oil workers' strike in response to imprisonment of apparent winner of presidential elections.
  • Yen surged to all time peak of 79 per dollar, endaka fukyo.
  • January 14: Mexico pledges profits from state-owned Pemex's $7-billion-per-year oil revenues in an effort to secure U.S. congressional approval of $40-billion worth of loan guarantees. Subsequently, President Clinton approved a $20-billion U.S. aid package for Mexico. (DMN)
  • January 30: Norway's Statoil announces that a newly-formed consortium of 11 oil companies will develop a plan to supply Norwegian natural gas to the European continent. Three Norwegian companies recently signed a contract with Gaz de France to bring 1.4 trillion cubic feet (40 km³) of Norwegian gas to France between 2001 and 2027. (DJ)
  • February 28: The Pentagon announces that it monitored Iranian installation of surface-to-air Hawk missiles in the Strait of Hormuz. The Iranians also have taken possession of and fortified the nearby Abu Musa and the Tunb Islands, which are claimed by both Iran and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). (DJ)
  • June 14: After OPEC's semi-annual meeting in Vienna, President Ida Bagus Sudjana discloses the Organization's intention to roll over its present crude oil production ceiling of 24.52 million barrels per day (3,898,000 m3/d). The announcement is followed by a trip to Norway by Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Hisham M. Nazer. Upon arriving, the Saudi Minister asks Norwegian Minister of Industry and Energy Jens Stoltenberg to restrain his country's oil production in the hopes of stabilizing world oil prices. (FT, DJ)
  • June 30: Exxon signs a $15.2-billion deal to develop oil and gas fields near Russia's Sakhalin Island. The Sakhalin I project will develop the offshore Shayvo, Odoptu, and Arkutun-Dagi fields that together are estimated to contain 2.5 billion barrels (400,000,000 m3) of crude oil and 15 trillion cubic feet (420 km³) of natural gas. Exxon has a 30 percent stake in the project. (NYT, DJ)
  • July 6: Venezuela's Congress approves the country's first investment law allowing for foreign participation in oil exploration and production. The newly-passed "model agreement" authorizes the state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) to offer 10 exploration blocks to foreign investors. If oil is discovered, the government will maintain a majority stake in any joint venture formed to develop the new fields. (FT, DJ)
  • July 27: Saudi Aramco awards the giant Shaybah oil field development project to U.S.-based Parsons Corporation. The $2.5-billion project will develop the 7-billion-barrel (1.1 km3) field, including the construction of crude oil production facilities, gas-oil separation plants, and a 372-mile (599 km) pipeline. The Shaybah field is located on the Saudi-UAE border and is expected to produce 500 million barrels per day (79,000,000 m3/d) after it comes on line in 1999. (PON)
  • July 28: Norwegian Finance Minister Sigbjorn Johnsen says that Norway should not lower its crude oil production in an attempt to boost world oil prices. Norwegian Oil Minister Jens Stoltenberg believes production cuts may be necessary if prices begin to fall. Minister Johnsen's remarks follow last month's visit by Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Hisham M. Nazer, who asked Minister Stoltenberg to cut Norway's crude oil production. (PON)
  • Aug. 2: Saudi Arabia's King Fahd issues a decree replacing all members of the Council of Ministers who do not have blood ties so the royal Family. While most of the Council's top positions are unaffected by the reshuffling, Oil Minister Hisham Nazer is replaced with Ali bin Ibrahim al-Naimi. (WSJ)
  • Aug. 14: Iran's official news agency, IRNA, reports that Iran has been unable to sell 200 million barrels per day (32,000,000 m3/d) of crude oil since the imposition of a unilateral oil embargo by the U.S. Iran increasingly has sold its crude oil on spot markets as opposed to long-term contracts. Larger purchases by France, Spain, Italy, China, India, Pakistan, and Thailand have failed to offset decreased demand by German and Japanese refiners. Before the U.S. embargo was announced in April 1995, U.S. companies were buying between 400,000 and 450 million barrels per day (72,000,000 m3/d), down from roughly 600 million barrels per day (95,000,000 m3/d) in 1994. (PON)
  • August 28: Kuwaiti Oil Minister Abdul Mohsen al-Medej announces that his country will increase its oil production capacity to as much as 3.5 million barrels per day (560,000 m3/d) by 2005. (DJ)
  • September 13: The Kuwaiti Oil Ministry states its intention to seek a 200-million-barrel-per-day (32,000,000 m3/d) increase to its current 2-million-barrel-per-day (320,000 m3/d) crude oil production quota at the November 1995 OPEC meeting in Vienna. The announcement comes amidst growing non-OPEC oil production and weak oil prices. (DJ)
  • November 22: OPEC states that it will roll over its current oil production quota of 25.42 million barrels per day (4,041,000 m3/d). The roll-over was widely anticipated because of slack world oil demand, rising non-OPEC production, and weak prices. (DJ, PON)
  • November 29: U.S. President Bill Clinton approves legislation lifting a 22-year-old ban on exports of oil from the Alaskan North Slope (ANS). The ban was imposed after the oil embargo by Arab oil producers in 1973. The lifting of the ban opened up about one-quarter of U.S. crude oil production for export, although no more than 7% of ANS crude was ever exported and exports ceased in 2000. The ANS legislation also waives royalty payments on deep water oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico. (WP)
  • December 12: Speaking in New York during a U.S. visit by Angolan President Eduardo dos Santos, Joaquim David, president of the state-owned oil company, Sonangol, states that Angola will increase its crude oil production by 10 percent per year over the next five years, reaching 720 million barrels per day (114,000,000 m3/d) by the end of 1996 and 1 million barrels per day (160,000 m3/d) by 2001. The statement comes amidst sporadic violence involving government forces and the rebel group UNITA, less than a year after a peace accord was signed ending the country's 20-year-old civil war. At the end of 1995, Angola had raised its crude oil production to 690 million barrels per day (110,000,000 m3/d). (PON, DJ)
  •  January 17: Iraq agrees to talks concerning a U.N. plan to allow for the Iraqi sale of $1 billion of oil for 90 days for a 180-day trial period. Under U.N. Resolution 986, proceeds from the sale would be used for humanitarian purposes. In the past, Iraq has opposed clauses 6 and 8b contained in Resolution 986. Clause 6 stipulates that oil exports under this plan must pass through the 1.6-million b/d Iraq-Turkey pipeline, which currently is unusable because of sludge build-ups and pumping station damage. By most estimates, the line would take a minimum of three months to repair. Clause 8b states that part of the proceeds from the sales would be disbursed under U.N. supervision to Kurdish provinces in northern Iraq. Negotiations between Iraq and the United Nations are scheduled to begin February 6, 1996. (FT, PON, DJ)
  • January 30: Vice Admiral Scott Redd, commander of the U.S. Fifth Fleet based in the Persian Gulf, states that Iran test-fired a new anti-ship missile near the Strait of Hormuz on January 6. The missile reportedly has a range of 60 miles (100 km) and is viewed as a threat to regional security by U.S. naval forces operating in the area. Oil tankers carry about 15 million b/d through the Strait. (DJ)
  • April 24: In New York, the United Nations and Iraq end a third round of negotiations over Iraq's possible sale of $1 billion of oil for 90 days for a 180-day trial period. Under U.N. Resolution 986, proceeds from the sale would be used for humanitarian purposes. While both sides have reached agreement on most of the key issues, chief Iraqi negotiator Abdul Amir al-Anbari says that the United States and the United Kingdom have fundamentally altered the text of a proposed agreement which he had received from the United Nations early in the third round. Al-Anbari states that the changes have postponed any possible deal. The U.N.-Iraq talks are scheduled to restart on May 10. (DJ)
  • April 30: In the United States, President Clinton approves the sale of $227 million of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. At current oil prices, roughly 12 million barrels (1,900,000 m3) would be sold. The Clinton Administration hopes that the sale will lower gasoline prices in the United States, which are at their highest levels in five years. (WSJ)
  • May 20: In New York, the United Nations and Iraq agree to U.N. Resolution 986, which provides Iraq with the opportunity to sell $1 billion of oil for 90 days for a 180-day trial period. Under the resolution, proceeds from the sale would be used for humanitarian purposes. The agreement comes following months of heated negotiations. Iraqi oil exports are expected to begin by the Fall of 1996, after a pumping station on the Iraq-Turkey pipeline is repaired and U.N monitoring and aid distribution facilities are put in place. Shortly after the agreement, the White House announces its decision to allow U.S. oil companies to purchase Iraqi oil exports. (FT, PON, WSJ)
  • June 11: Exxon states that it will soon begin work on its $15-billion Sakhalin I oil and natural gas development in Russia's Far East. The Sakhalin I project will develop an estimated 5 billion barrels (790,000,000 m3) of oil and 15 trillion cubic feet (420 km³) of gas located in three offshore hydrocarbon fields. The $300 million appraisal program will include drilling one exploration well and conducting a 3-D seismic survey. The U.S. company says that it will start working despite ongoing differences with the Russian government over the country's new production sharing law, which is widely viewed as not offering adequate legal protection for foreign investment in the country's oil and gas sectors. (FT)
  • June 20: The Venezuelan Congress approves eight, multi-billion dollar, profit-sharing deals which allow foreign oil companies to explore and produce oil in Venezuela for the first time since the country's 1975 nationalization of the oil industry. The deals could boost Venezuela's current oil production by 500,000 bbl/d (79,000 m3/d) by 2005. Foreign oil companies such as Amoco and British Petroleum are expected to sign final deals with state-owned PdVSA within 10 days and may begin working on their new land by the third quarter of 1996. The eight blocks are estimated to hold between 7 to 11 billion barrels (1.7×109 m3) of light crude oil reserves. (PON, DJ)
  • July 7: OPEC issues a resolution announcing Gabon's withdrawal from the organization, effective January 1, 1995. Gabon had an OPEC quota of 287,000 bbl/d (45,600 m3/d). (FT)
  • July 18: The United Nations formally approves an Iraqi aid distribution plan, a major step forward in the direction of allowing Iraq to sell oil under Resolution 986. (DJ)
  • August 6: U.S. President Bill Clinton signs a new bill imposing sanctions on non-U.S. companies which invest over $40 million a year in the energy sectors of either Iran and Libya. Under the law, the President would be required to impose at least two of the following sanctions: import and export bans; lending embargoes from U.S. banks; a ban on U.S. procurement of goods and services from sanctioned companies; and a denial of U.S export financing. The European Union has stated its opposition to the U.S. law and threatened retaliation. (FT)
  • August 21: In Venezuela, a subsidiary of state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA), Corpoven, signs a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with U.S.-based ARCO. The MOU provides for a $3.5-billion joint venture to develop and upgrade roughly 200,000 bbl/d (32,000 m3/d) of crude oil from the country's 270-billion Orinoco Heavy Oil Belt. The project will produce 9° API gravity crude oil in the Hamaca region and upgrade it to 25° API for export to U.S. refineries. The project will be implemented in three phases, the last of which will be completed in 2006. Another PdVSA subsidiary, Maraven, recently signed another, similar deal with Conoco. (PON, FT)
  • September 5: Following U.S. cruise missile strikes on military facilities in southern Iraq, crude oil prices rise as the market speculates when Iraq will begin exporting oil under U.N. Resolution 986. Benchmark Brent Blend for October rises above $22/barrel amidst the uncertainty. The U.S. attack follows an Iraqi-supported invasion of Kurdish safe haven areas in the country's northern area. Subsequently, President Bill Clinton states that the U.N. oil-for-food sale should be postponed indefinitely. (DJ)
  • October 30: Exxon confirms that it is in talks with state-owned Qatar General Petroleum Corporation concerning the application of new technology to convert natural gas to petroleum products. Exxon believes that technology developed in a successful 200 bbl/d (32 m3/d) Anatural gas refinery project in Texas would work in Qatar, where a proposed $1-billion plant would be able produce between 50,000-100,000 b/d of middle distillate products. Under the proposal, Qatar's 270 trillion cubic feet (760 km³) North field would supply between 0.5-1 Bcf/d of gas for use as feedstock. In the past, technological barriers and high costs have precluded the development of natural gas refineries. (WSJ)
  • December 18: During a press conference, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Maleki states that Iran supports the free flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz, but reserves the option of closing off the shipping route if it is threatened. Iran recently has admitted to deploying anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles on Abu Musa, an island strategically located near the Strait of Hormuz's shipping lanes. (DJ)
  • December 30: The United Nations announces that a total of 21 contracts have been approved for the limited Iraqi oil sales under U.N. Resolution 986. The approved contracts will allow for 43.68 million barrels (6,945,000 m3) of oil to be exported in the first 90 days of the sale. At present, exports of 26.37 million barrels (4,192,000 m3) have been approved for the second 90-day period of the sale, which allows Iraq to sell up to $1 billion worth of oil every 90 days for an initial 6-month period. In mid-December 1996, Iraq restarted the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, which is expected to carry up to 450,000 bbl/d (72,000 m3/d) of oil under the sales agreements approved so far under U.N. Resolution 986. Iraq's remaining oil exports will flow through the Mina al-Bakr terminal. (NYT, DJ)
  • The construction of pipeline was agreed between China and Kazakhstan 
  • Asian Financial Crisis, yen fell to 147 per dollar.
  • 1997–2004: Bank of Japan (BOJ) fights yen appreciation, surging foreign exchange reserves, ballooning national debt, endaka fukyo.
  • February 5: Japan's Ministry of Finance announces plans to cut import tariffs on crude oil and most petroleum products from April 1, 1997, in a phased process that will reduce the country's crude oil import tariff rate to zero in April 2002. (DJ)
  • February 24: Qatar inaugurates the world's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporting facility and formally launches Qatar Liquefied Gas Co., which will have total output capacity of 6 million tons per year of LNG. The facilities are part of a new $7.2 billion industrial zone which also includes a sea port with a capacity to handle 25-30 million tons of LNG annually. Qatar plans to build more gas liquefaction plants in the area to exploit its natural gas reserves of around 237 trillion cubic feet (6710 km³). (DJ)
  • April 1: A Shell spokesman confirms the company will declare force majeure at its Nigerian Bonny terminal due to local protests which disrupted 210 million barrels per day (33,000,000 m3/d) of the company's oil production. Although the protests have ended and production is returning to normal, the backlog is temporarily delaying loadings by 3 days. (DJ)
  • May 16: A final agreement creating the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) is signed by project participants: Russia (24 percent), Kazakhstan (19 percent), Chevron Corp. (15 percent), AO Lukoil/Arco Corp. (12.5 percent), Mobil Corp. (7.5 percent), AO Rosneft/Shell Corp. (7.5 percent), Oman (7 percent), Agip SpA (2 percent), British Gas PLC (2 percent), Oryx Corp. (1.75 percent), and Kazakhstan Pipeline Ventures, a joint venture of Kazakhstan's state oil company and Amoco Corp. (1.75 percent). The Russian government plans to transfer its stake to two Russian oil companies, AO Lukoil and AO Rosneft. CPC plans to begin building a 932-mile (1,500 km) pipeline to transport crude oil from the Caspian region to Russia's Black Sea coast in 1998 and begin shipping around 558 million barrels per day (88,700,000 m3/d) of oil in 1999 (planned peak capacity is 1.4 million barrels per day (220,000 m3/d)). (DJ)
  • May 20: U.S. President Bill Clinton signs an executive order barring new U.S. investment in Burma (also known as Myanmar), effective May 21 and renewable annually. U.S. companies have invested about $250 million in Burma, primarily in the oil and gas sector. The biggest U.S. investor is Unocal, which is building (with France's Total) a $1.2 billion pipeline from Burma's Yadana natural gas field to an electric power plant in Thailand. (DJ)
  • June 4: In a unanimous vote, the United Nations Security Council renews for another 180-day period its "oilforfood" initiative with Iraq. Under the resolution, Iraq may sell $2 billion worth of oil to buy food, medicine and other necessities to alleviate civilian suffering under the sanctions imposed when it invaded Kuwait in 1990. (WP)
  • July 22: The first shipments of oil produced from Kazakhstan's Tengiz field arrive at terminals on the Black Sea in Novorossiysk (Russia) and Batumi (Georgia) for subsequent export through the Bosphoros Strait. Volumes total between 100,000 and 150 million barrels per day (24,000,000 m3/d). (DJ)
  • July 23: The U.S. State Department rules that Turkey's August 1996 agreement to purchase $23 billion worth of natural gas from Iran over a 20-year period does not violate the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act. In a May 1997 memorandum of understanding with Iran and Turkmenistan, Turkey modified the original arrangement so that the natural gas will be purchased from Turkmenistan rather than Iran. (DJ)
  • August 4: In Colombia, Occidental Petroleum, a California-based international oil company, and Ecopetrol, Colombia's national oil company, declare force majeure on all oil exports from the Cano Limon field. The declaration comes after a series of attacks dating back to July 30 knocked out a major oil pipeline transporting oil from the field to the Caribbean port of Covenas. The pipeline has been attacked 45 times this year which is equal to the total number of attacks for 1996. Responsibility for the attacks has not been determined, but leftist guerrillas from the National Liberation Army are usually blamed for such attacks. The force majeure declaration does not apply to the oil contained in the 2-million-barrel (320,000 m3) storage facility at Covenas. (DJ)
  • August 8: The United Nations approves a sale-price formula for Iraqi crude oil sales under the oil-for-food plan. The approval cleared the way for Iraq to resume limited oil exports immediately through the Turkish port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean Sea and Iraq's Gulf port of Mina al-Bakr. The United Nations will also begin reviewing contracts for Iraqi crude oil purchases. Iraq has until September 5 to raise the $1.07 billion allowed under the existing 90 day oil-for-food plan window. Iraqi officials state they will boost exports to 2 million barrels per day (320,000 m3/d) to meet the sales target. However, industry experts say that Iraq's export capacity is untested beyond 1.4-million-barrel-per-day (220,000 m3/d). (DJ)
  • September 12: The United Nations Security Council passes a resolution that allows Iraq to reach the $2.14 billion oil sales limit under its oil-for-food program by December 5. The current 6-month oil sales window, running from June 8 to December 5, will be split into a 120-day segment and a 60-day segment instead of two 90-day segments. During each segment Iraq can sell $1.07 billion worth of oil. The resolution should enable Iraq to make up for lost revenues during a delay in the start of oil sales during the first two months of the current six month sale period. (DJ)
  • October 29: Iraq's Revolution Command Council, the country's main decision making body, announces that it will no longer allow U.S. citizens and U.S. aircraft to serve with the United Nations (U.N.) arms inspection teams. The council's statement gives U.S. citizens working with the inspection teams one week to leave Iraq. Iraq has also asked the U.N. to stop flights by American reconnaissance aircraft monitoring its compliance with U.N. resolutions requiring the elimination of weapons of mass destruction. In response to this statement, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approves a statement condemning Iraq's threats to expel the Americans. (DJ)
  • November 20: Iraq's Revolution Command Council formally endorses an agreement, arranged by Russia, that enables United Nation's (U.N.) weapons inspection teams to resume operations in Iraq. The deal ends a three-week standoff between the U.N. and Iraq that began in late October 1997 after Iraq announced it would no longer allow U.S. citizens to serve on U.N. weapons' inspection teams. (DJ)
  • November 29: For the first time in four years, OPEC agrees to an increase in its production ceiling. OPEC has raised the ceiling to 27.5 million barrels per day (4,370,000 m3/d) for the first half of 1998, effective January 1, 1998. The new ceiling represents a 10 percent increase over the current ceiling. The new quotas are as follows: Saudi Arabia 8.76 million barrels per day (1,393,000 m3/d) (bbl/d), Iran 3.942 Mbbl/d (626,700 m3/d), Iraq 1.314 Mbbl/d (208,900 m3/d), Venezuela 2.583 Mbbl/d (410,700 m3/d), Nigeria 2.042 Mbbl/d (324,700 m3/d), Indonesia 1.456 Mbbl/d (231,500 m3/d), Kuwait 2.19 Mbbl/d (348,000 m3/d), Libya 1.522 Mbbl/d (242,000 m3/d), United Arab Emirates 2.366 Mbbl/d (376,200 m3/d), Algeria 0.909 Mbbl/d (144,500 m3/d), and Qatar 0.414 Mbbl/d (65,800 m3/d). (NYT)
  • December 4: Iraq's United Nations (U.N.) Ambassador Nizar Hamdoon warns that Iraq will not allow oil to flow during a third six-month phase of the U.N.'s oil-for-food sale until the U.N. approves an aid distribution plan. Despite the warning, the U.N. Security Council approves a third six-month phase following the end of the second six-month phase. Like the first two phases, the third phase allows Iraq to sell up to $1.07 billion of oil in each of two 90-day periods. However, the sales level may be increased by the Security Council in January 1998 after U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan reports on Iraq's needs. The next day Iraq stops pumping oil into the Iraqi-Turkish pipeline at the end of the second six-month phase of the United Nations (U.N.) oil-for-food program. (WP, NYT)
  • December 11: Delegates from 150 industrial nations attending a United Nations climate conference in Kyoto, Japan reach agreement on a protocol to control heat-trapping greenhouse gases. The protocol, if ratified, would commit nations to roll back emissions of six greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulphur hexafluoride) below 1990 levels. Under the protocol, the United States would be required to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 7 percent below 1990 levels, while Europe and Japan would make cuts of 8 percent and 9 percent, respectively. Developing countries are exempt from the emissions ceilings for the time being. (DJ)
  • About 40% of the energy consumed by the United States came from Oil. The United States, with about 5% of the world's population, is responsible for 25% of the world's oil consumption while only having 3% of the world's proven oil reserves.
  • 11 July: BIS opened its Representative Office for Asia and the Pacific in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People's Republic of China. 
  • September: Czech rep. sold its gold in two rounds. When CSFR (CSSR) split to Czech and Slovak rep. it had 102t, it was split to 63,289t and 39,137t. The first part of selling was 31t. Now Cz.rep has 13t.
  • 12 November: "VAT: special scheme for gold" - Summaries of EU legislation > Taxation

  • 26 September: The Washington Agreement on Gold (Joint statement on gold) was signed in Washington DC during the IMF annual meeting.
  •  Iraq converted all its oil transactions under the Oil for Food program to Euros.
  • January 1: British Petroleum Company and Amoco Corporation complete their $53 billion merger. Chicago-based Amoco is the United States' fifth-largest oil company with roughly 9,300 gasoline stations. London-based British Petroleum, the world's third largest oil company, sells its products through a network of about 17,900 stations. (DJ)
  • February 4: Italy's ENI SpA and Russia's RAO Gazprom, the world's largest natural gas producer, agree to build a natural gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey at a cost of nearly $3 billion. Each project partner will hold a 50 percent stake in the project. The proposed pipeline, called the Blue Stream project, is expensive by industry standards partly because it would run at great depth under the waters of the Black Sea. (Asian WSJ)
  • February 10: U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson visits Saudi Arabia to discuss potential U.S. investment in the Kingdom's oil and gas sectors. Following his visit, Richardson says the Saudis are primarily interested in foreign investment in the natural gas sector and in the oil refining and marketing sectors, rather than in the upstream crude oil sector. Secretary Richardson's visit comes several months after a September 1998 meeting between several U.S. oil companies, Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah and Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi, in which Abdullah requested proposals from the companies on the development of Saudi oil reserves. (DJ, WSJ)
  • March 23: In an effort to raise oil prices, which fell sharply in late 1997 and stayed low through 1998 and into early 1999, OPEC and non-OPEC countries agree to cut oil output by a combined 2.104 million barrels per day (334,500 m3/d), effective April 1, 1999, for one year. OPEC members have pledged to cut 1.716 million barrels per day (272,800 m3/d), while several non-OPEC countries have pledged total reductions of 388 million barrels per day (61,700,000 m3/d). During 1998, due mainly to low oil prices, OPEC crude oil export revenues fell 30 percent (to $100 billion) from the previous year. (DJ, NYT)
  • March 31: Arco agrees to be acquired by BP Amoco PLC for $26.6 billion in stock. If approved, the merger will create the largest oil producer in the United States and one of the largest energy companies in the world. The deal marks the fourth largest oil company merger since the onset of low oil prices in late 1997. (DJ), (WSJ)
  • April 5: Following the arrival in the Netherlands of two Libyan suspects in the 1988 bombing of Pan American Flight 103 that killed 270 people, United Nations sanctions against Libya are suspended. The sanctions, imposed on March 31, 1992, initially included a ban on the sale of equipment for refining and transporting oil, but excluded oil production equipment. Sanctions were then expanded on November 11, 1993, to include a freeze on Libya's overseas assets, excluding revenue from oil, natural gas, or agricultural products. (DJ)
  • April 15: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announces that it will begin taking oil deliveries within the next few days under its plan to add 28 million barrels (4,500,000 m3) of oil to the U.S. Government's Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) from federal oil royalty payments. In Phase 1 of the plan, the SPR is expected to acquire about 43 million barrels per day (6,800,000 m3/d) over the next 3 months from oil companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico. Although about 50 percent of the oil supplied in Phase 1 will be imported, domestic producers would still benefit from the entire acquisition since the oil market is international and fungible, according to a DOE official. Under Phase 2 of the program, the DOE expects to acquire about 100 million barrels per day (16,000,000 m3/d) of royalty oil over a 6-month period. (DJ)
  • April 17: An oil pipeline that transports oil from Baku, Azerbaijan, to Suspa, Georgia, is officially opened. This is the second pipeline dedicated to exporting Caspian Sea oil, but the first built since the Soviet Union disbanded in 1991. The other Caspian Sea oil pipeline, which runs through the Russian breakaway republic of Chechnya to the Russian port of Novorossisk, is often shut down. The new pipeline to Georgia has a capacity of 100 million barrels per day (16,000,000 m3/d). (DJ)
  • April 28: The U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), notifies Mobil that it has turned down Mobil's request for a license to swap crude oil it produces in Turkmenistan in exchange for Iranian oil. Mobil had hoped to be allowed to ship oil produced in Turkmenistan to northern Iranian oil refineries, while Iran, in turn, would provide Iranian oil from Iran's Persian Gulf export terminals to Mobil for shipment to global markets as payment. OFAC is responsible for enforcing U.S. unilateral sanctions against foreign countries. As a result of OFAC's denial of a swap arrangement with Iran, Mobil will have to continue exporting its Turkmenistan oil production across the Caspian Sea by barge to Azerbaijan, where it is then carried by rail or pipeline to Black Sea ports. (DJ, WP)
  • May 1: U.S. President Bill Clinton unveils a plan to apply the same standard for tailpipe emissions to cars, light-duty trucks, and most sport utility vehicles (SUVs). Based on current nitrogen oxides (NOx) emission levels, the proposed plan would result in a 77 percent reduction for cars and a 95 percent reduction for light-duty trucks and SUVs. The new standards would be phased in from the 2004 to 2007 model years. At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes a rule that would require refiners to reduce gasoline sulfur content from a current average of nearly 330 parts per million (ppm) to 30 ppm. The new sulfur standard is being proposed in conjunction with the new tailpipe emission proposal since sulfur impedes catalytic converter efficiency, thus making it more difficult to reduce tailpipe emissions without reducing sulfur content in gasoline. Oil industry representatives have vowed to protest the proposed rule, claiming that it will cost refiners $3 billion to $6 billion. The EPA estimates that the cost of compliance for both the automobile and oil industries will be between $3.4 billion and $4.4 billion. (DJ)
  • May 10: The Board of Argentine oil company YPF unanimously approved a $13.4 billion offer from Repsol, a Spanish company. Repsol, which already owns 14.99 percent of YPF, made an all cash offer to purchase the remaining 85.01 percent last month. The Board recommended to all shareholders to accept the Repsol offer. Two Argentine provinces, which own about five percent of YPF's shares, remain concerned about Repsol's intentions for their regions. (WSJ)
  • May 12: The Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) begins construction of a 981-mile (1,579 km) pipeline that will carry crude oil from the Caspian Sea to the Russian port of Novorossisk for export to foreign markets. The pipeline's planned capacity is about 1.3 million barrels per day (210,000 m3/d), and the CPC is expecting to load the first tanker in mid-2001. (DJ)
  • May 17: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that it will not change its "Tier Two Plan" to cut gasoline sulfur content and tailpipe emissions, in response to a recent appellate court ruling that the EPA had overstepped its mandate in implementing some provisions of the Clean Air Act. Beginning in 2004, the Tier Two Plan would require refiners to cut gasoline sulfur content to an average of 30 parts per million, down more than 90 percent from the current national average. (DJ)
  • May 27: Exxon and Mobil shareholders approve an $81.2 billion merger, in which Exxon will issue 1.32 shares for each share of Mobil's approximately 780.2 million shares outstanding. The merger still must receive regulatory approval from the U.S. government and the European Union. The chairmen of both companies state that they expect regulatory approvals to be obtained by the end of the third quarter of 1999. (DJ)
  • June 1:  Sudan starts pumping oil through its pipeline linking the Heglig oil field in Western Kordofanon the Red Sea. The pipeline has a capacity of 250 million barrels per day (40,000,000 m3/d), and was financed by a consortium of Chinese, Malaysian, Canadian, and Sudanese firms. (DJ)
  • August 9: The United States Department of Commerce dismisses a petition filed by Save Domestic Oil, Inc. under anti-dumping statutes. The petition alleged that Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Mexico, and Iraq had sold crude oil to the United States at artificially low prices. The decision was based on the Department of Commerce's determination that "opposition to the petitions exceeded support." Majority support is defined as petitioner representation of at least 25 percent of the domestic industry and support from at least 50 percent of the industry expressing an opinion. Support from a majority in the affected industry is necessary under the law for Commerce to commence a formal investigation of an anti-dumping complaint. (DJ, WP, NYT)
  • September 14: French oil companies Total Fina and Elf Aquitaine agree to merge, after a lengthy takeover battle, in a deal which will form the world's fourth largest oil company. The deal will give Elf Aquitaine shareholders 19 shares of Total Fina for every 13 shares of Elf Aquitaine. According to Total Fina's management, the merger will result in annual cost savings for the combined firm of $1.56 billion. (WP, WSJ)
  • September 22: OPEC, at a meeting of its member states' oil ministers, decides to maintain current production cuts until March 2000, despite the fact the crude oil prices have doubled since early 1999. In another development, OPEC announces that its current Secretary General, Nigerian Rilwanu Lukman, will stay in office until March 2000. The announcement follows a vigorously contested race to succeed Lukman in the post, in which OPEC's three largest members, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq, had fielded candidates. (DJ)
  • September 28: Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh announces that the National Iranian Oil Company has discovered a new oilfield, Azadegan, with 26 billion barrels (4.1×109 m3) of crude oil in Khuzestan province. The discovery is the largest new find in Iran in the last three decades. Zanganeh expects the field to produce between 300,000 and 400 million barrels per day (64,000,000 m3/d) of crude oil three to four years after development begins next year. (DJ)
  • September 30: Japan suffers a serious nuclear accident at a uranium processing plant in Tokaimura, in which radiation is released after an apparent uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction. Three workers at the plant, operated by JCO, Inc., are injured. Japanese authorities issue a warning instructing 310,000 people in neighboring communities to stay indoors. (DJ, WSJ)
  • October 4: The United Nations Security Council agrees to raise the monetary ceiling on Iraqi oil sales to $8.3 billion from $5.26 billion, guaranteeing the continuation of Iraqi production until the November 20 end date for the current six month extension of the "oil-for-food" program. The move is a one time adjustment, and does not bind the Security Council to continue a higher ceiling if the program is renewed for another six month term. The increase reflects the difference between previous monetary ceilings and actual Iraqi sales during previous phases of the program. (DJ)
  • November 18: The heads of state of Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Georgia sign an agreement to build the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipelinefor the export of crude oil from the Caspian Basin. The 1,080-mile (1,740 km) pipeline will begin at the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, and run through Georgia and Turkey to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. The project is expected to cost $2.4 billion, and the government of Turkey has offered guarantees that the cost of the Turkish segment of the pipeline will not exceed $1.4 billion. The signing ceremony took place during a visit to Istanbul by U.S. President Clinton for a summit of the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE). (WP, NYT)
  • November 30: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) grants approval for the proposed merger between oil giants Exxon and Mobil. The $80 billion merger was approved by the FTC after the firms agreed to the largest divestiture of assets ever involved in a merger. The companies will sell over 2,400 retail outlets, mostly in the Northeast, Texas, and California, and a refinery in California. (DJ)
  • December 21: The Export-Import Bank drops a proposed $500 million loan to Russia's Tyumen Oil after Secretary of State Madeleine Albright exercises her statutory authority to block the transaction. The loan had been controversial in part because of Tyumen Oil's dispute with BP Amoco over the bankruptcy of Russian oil firm Sidanko, in which BP Amoco owns a major stake. BP Amoco and Tyumen Oil later settled the dispute on December 23. (DJ)
  • December 31: The Panama Canal Zone reverts to Panamanian sovereignty at noon, after nearly a century of American control. More than a half-million barrels of crude oil and petroleum products transit the Canal each day. (DJ)
  • December 31: After nearly two years of construction, ExxonMobil completes the Sable Offshore Energy Project, a $2 billion project to bring natural gas from fields offshore Nova Scotia to the northeastern United States. The fields are estimated to contain 3.5 trillion cubic feet (99 km3) of natural gas. (DJ)
  • December 31: Russian President Boris Yeltsin makes a surprise announcement that he is resigning immediately. Vladimir Putin becomes Acting President, and presidential elections will be held within 90 days, with a date to be set by the State Duma. Russia is the largest exporter of energy in the world. (DJ)

  • From 2003 to 2006, ethanol fuel in Brazil has replaced 40% of its gasoline consumption while flex fuel vehicles went from 3% of car sales to 70%. Brazilian ethanol, which is produced using sugarcane, reduces green house gases by 60-80% (20% for corn produced ethanol). Khosla also says that ethanol is about 10% cheaper per given distance. There are currently ethanol subsidies in the United States but they are all blender's credits, meaning the oil refineries receive the subsidies rather than the farmers. There are indirect subsidies due to subsidising farmers to produce corn. Vinod says after one of his presentations in Davos, a Senior Saudi oil official came up to him and threatened: “If biofuels start to take off we will drop the price of oil.” Since then, Vinod has come up with a new recommendation that oil should be taxed if it drops below $40.00/barrel in order to counter price manipulation.
  • When U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, it returned oil sales from the euro to the USD.
  • R merger of 2 houses 
  • 10 March - BIS replacing Swiss Gold Franc with SDR

  • A new interlaboratory cross-check program for sulfur determination of ultra-low sulfur in diesel fuels is launched. It will use four methods designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for regulatory compliance, and will use samples with 15 parts per million or less of sulfur. As ultra-low sulfur fuels become mandatory on the roadways, the importance of this new initiative is sure to grow. ~ASTM
  • (BOJ) abandons active intervention, promotes yen carry trades.
  • R out of LBMA "paper" market
  • GLD is launched
  • The change in status of US-goldreserves (deep storage)
  • Norilsk Nickel, one of the world’s largest mining groups, bought Anglo American’s 20% of Gold Fields
  • The session of the EABH in Athens changed the statutes. The new name of the EABH is the European Association for Banking and Financial History. There was also a change in the leadership of the association. The former head of the European Central Bank Willem Frederik Duisenberg became the new chairman of the Executive Committee of the EABH in place of Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, who headed the association for thirteen years.
  • March 8: Joint Statement on Gold signed, The second version of Washington Agreement on Gold .
    • Sweden announced plans to end its dependence on fossil fuels by the year 2020
    • January 1: The EU launches the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), the first greenhouse gas emissions trading market in Europe (the other is the Chicago Climate Exchange), which links energy-intensive industries to carbon dioxide emissions limits.  ~eia
    • January 3 Sinopec, a Chinese oil company, finds a sizeable oil and gas field in the remote province of Xinjiang in northwest China. ~eia
    • January 5 After the resolution of a dispute in southeastern Nigeria, Royal Dutch/Shell resumes 114,000 bbl/d of crude oil production from the Odeama flow station. Vandalism and community feuds had closed down crude oil production in the Niger Delta and forced Shell to declare a force majeure on December 22, 2004.  ~eia
    • January 7 India Oil Company (IOC) and Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) sign a deal with the National Iranian Gas Export Corporation to buy 7.5 million metric tons per year of liquefied natural gas (equivalent to approximately 365 billion cubic feet of natural gas) beginning in 2009 and to participate in three oil and natural gas blocks.
    • January 9 A peace agreement is signed between the rebel Sudan People s Liberation Army based in the south and the Khartoum-based government after 21 years of fighting. Analysts predict that oil and gas companies will be eager to expand Sudan 's oil production from 2004 s average level of 342,500 barrels per day. The country has proven reserves of 635 million barrels, much of which could not be accessed during the war. The agreement gives the south political and religious autonomy and a share of the country's oil assets. It does not cover an unrelated conflict in Sudan's western region of Darfur. (WP, Reuters)
    • March 6: The Minister of Finance has after consultation with the South African Reserve Bank "SARB", under section 25(1) of the South African Reserve Bank Act, 1989 (Act No. 90 of 1989), determined that, for statutory price purposes, all gold of SARB be valued at the market prices taken at 14:30 on each valuation date.
    • Venezuela has pushed the creation of regional oil initiatives for the Caribbean (Petrocaribe), the Andean region (Petroandino), and South America (Petrosur), and Latin America (Petroamerica). The initiatives include assistance for oil developments, investments in refining capacity, and preferential oil pricing. The most developed of these three is the Petrocaribe initiative, with 13 nations signing a preliminary agreement in 2005. Under Petrocaribe, Venezuela will offer crude oil and petroleum products to Caribbean nations under preferential terms and prices, with Jamaica as the first nation to sign on in August 2005.

    • China, which only holds 1.3% of its reserves in gold, announced that it was looking for ways to improve the returns on its official reserves 
    • May 10, Russian president Vladimir Putin announced the project for the creation of an Oil Exchange denominated in rubles to trade oil and gas.
    • Mid-2006: Venezuela indicated support of Iran's decision to offer global oil trade in the euro currency 
    • September 4: Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank and chairman of the EABH, awarded the French-German Culture Prize by Pro-Europa    
    • December 29: The last payment of Anglo-American Loan Agreement for the sum of about $83m (£45.5m).
      • Russia signed agreements with Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan to connect their oil and gas fields to the Russian pipeline system effectively killing the undersea route.
      • American armed forces raided the Iranian Consulate General located in Erbil, Iraq and arrested five staff members.
      • March: The Scotsman reported that China's state-run Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp, the biggest buyer of Iranian crude worldwide, began paying for its oil in euros late last year.

      • September: Japan's Nippon Oil has agreed to buy Iranian oil using yen
      • November 9: American forces released two Iranian diplomats after 305 days, as well as seven other Iranian citizens. The officials were captured in the raid, and the others had been picked up in different parts of the country and held for periods ranging from three months to three years. American officials said, "The release followed a careful review of individual records to determine if they posed a security threat to Iraq, and if their detention was of continued intelligence value". American forces still hold 11 Iranian diplomats and citizens.
      • December: Iran stops accepting U.S. dollars for oil.
      • December: The American government has stated that naval stand-offs between Iranian speedboats and American warships occurred in the Strait of Hormuz
      • December 8: Iran reported to have converted all of its oil export payments to non-dollar currencies.

      • Indonesia withdrew from OPEC after it became a net importer of oil, but stated it would likely return if it became a net exporter again
      • New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh detailed American covert action plans against Iran involving the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and Special Forces. He also stated that the United States was supporting several groups that are performing acts of violence inside Iran.
      • February 17: The Iranian Oil Bourse, International Oil Bourse, Iran Petroleum Exchange or Oil Bourse in Kish opened. The IOB is intended as an oil bourse for petroleum, petrochemicals and gas in various currencies, primarily the euro and Iranian rial and a basket of other major currencies apart from the United States dollar.
        It has been suggested that 2008 submarine cable disruption was connected with the launch of Iranian oil bourse and that the internet connection of Iran was being targeted to stop the launch of Iranian oil bourse.
      • January 1 Ecuador rejoined OPEC after having left in 1992, and is given a production allocation of 520,000 barrels per day. Angola´s first production allocation of 1.9 million barrels per day becomes effective. ~EIA
      • February 1 At the 147th OPEC meeting, held in Vienna, Austria, OPEC decided to leave its production allocations unchanged. ~EIA
      • February 14 Venezuela´s state-owned oil company PDVSA cut off crude oil sales to ExxonMobil. The sales had been averaging about 50,000 barrels per day. ExxonMobil and Venezuela have been engaged in a legal dispute following Venezuela´s decision to nationalize oil projects in Venezuela by ExxonMobil and other companies. ~EIA
      • February 19 The nominal WTI crude oil price passed the $100 mark on the NYMEX, settling at a record high of $100.01 per barrel, the first time the near-month contract ever settled above $100 per barrel.  ~EIA
      • March5 OPEC decided to keep output unchanged at their meeting in Vienna. (EIA, Reuters)  
      • March27 Saboteurs blew up one of Iraq's two main oil export pipelines in southern Iraq, cutting about half a million barrels a day of oil exports, about a third of crude exports through Basra. Crude was trading up more than $1 at close to $107 a barrel after news of the attack. Iraq exported 1.54 million barrels per day from its main Basra oil terminal in February. (Reuters)
      • April 6 Iraq's southern oil export flow declined to around 1.3 million barrels per day today, down from around 1.66 million barrels per day on April 5, shipping agents said. Iraq ships about three quarters of its exports, or an average of around 1.5 million barrels per day, from Basra. The pumping rate at the port typically varies between 1.2 and 1.7 million barrels per day. A bomb attack on a pipeline branch from the Bazargan oilfield on March 27 forced Iraq to shut in around 100,000 bbl/d per day from each of three fields. Output from two of the three fields restarted on April 3. The attack was the first to disrupt southern exports since 2004, although Iraq has used oil in storage at both the fields and the terminal to minimize the impact on shipments. (Reuters)
      • April 25 TheNigerian labor union, PENGASSAN (the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria) announced that their workers at ExxonMobil were on strike. ~EIA
      • April 27 Workers at Scotland´s Grangemouth refinery walked off in a dispute over pensions, leading to the closure of the North Forties Pipeline that shut-in about half the UK's North Sea oil production and a substantial amount of gas output. The strike ended on April 29. (Reuters).
      • May 1 About 1.36 million barrels per day of Nigerian production is shut-in due to militant attacks, sabotage and workers' strike. This represents more than 40 percent of the West African country's installed output capacity of around 3 million bpd. The stoppage halted virtually all Exxon's 800,000 barrels per day of production in Nigeria and forced the company on Monday to declare force majeure on its shipments, meaning it could not fulfill contractual obligations to clients. (Reuters)
      • May 6 The NYMEX near-month WTI contract rose to over $120 per barrel for the first time, settling at $121.84 per barrel. (Reuters) 
      • May 7 Exxon Mobil has lifted a force majeure on its crude oil exports from Nigeria, traders said today. (Reuters)
      • May 19 President Bush signed into law a bill that temporarily halts adding oil to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the measure Congress passed in an effort to lower gasoline prices. The legislation forbids adding to the stockpile until crude prices drop below $75 a barrel. (Reuters)
      • May 23 Mexico's oil exports fell sharply in April and production also slipped, putting pressure on the government to overhaul energy laws as the country's biggest oil field declines (EIA, Reuters)
      • May 27 Senior officials from five Arctic countries, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States, met in Greenland to discuss sovereignty over the Arctic Ocean, which could hold up to one-quarter of the world's undiscovered oil reserves. (Reuters)
      • May 28 Indonesia quits the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries according to its Energy Minister. The country's crude oil output has fallen in recent years due to ageing wells, a lack of investment, and the absence of any major oil finds. Its status as a net importer means it would benefit from lower oil prices, putting it at odds with other OPEC members. (Reuters)
      • May 29: The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced "Multiple Energy Market Initiatives". Part 1 is "Expanded International Surveillance Information for Crude Oil Trading." The CFTC announcement stated it has joined with the United Kingdom Financial Services Authority and ICE Futures Europe in order to expand surveillance and information sharing of various futures contracts. This announcement has received wide coverage in the financial press, with speculation about oil futures price manipulation.
      • August: Yen strengthens on oil collapse. This sets off a carry trade reversal which cut $5.9 trillion of yen carry and $1.2 trillion of yen loans (7.1 trillion USD), adding to a severe international credit crunch which set off a global financial crisis.
      • CBs become net puchasers of gold inspite of WAG.
      • Cash-seeking Anglo American plc is now completely out of gold, a precious metal that has been synonymous with the iconic South African-rooted diversified major since its inception in 1917
      • January: The New York Times reported that the United States had rejected a 2008 appeal from Israel to attack Iran's main nuclear complex.
      • May: Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri disappeared, and Iran accused the United States of abducting him. On the July 13, 2010, the BBC reported that Amiri had taken refuge in the Iranian interests section of Pakistani Embassy in Washington, D.C. and sought help to reach Iran.
      • July 9: the United States released five Iranian diplomats (Mohsen Bagheri, Mahmoud Farhadi, Majid Ghaemi, Majid Dagheri and Abbas Jami), who had been held since January 2007..

      • January 1: Russian gas company Gazprom cut off gas supplies to Ukraine in a dispute over debts and pricing, affecting about 20 European consumers that depend on Russia for a quarter of their natural gas. A similar gas row briefly disrupted supplies to Europe three years ago. Moscow and Kiev ended the contract row and Russian gas reached Europe via Ukraine for the first time on January 20. (Reuters) 
      • January 2: The U.S. Energy Department issued a solicitation to purchase about 12 million barrels of oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to replace supplies sold following hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. The department said it will also collect repayments from refiners that borrowed oil following hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008. Refiners are expected to return the 5.4 million barrels of oil released in the aftermath of Gustav and Ike, and 120,000 additional barrels required as payment for the loans, between January and May. (Reuters)
      • February 6: Exports of Iraqi oil from Turkey's port of Ceyhan were delayed by several days due to a payment dispute between Baghdad and Turkish companies, disrupting shipments that had been running at 400,000 barrels per day. (Reuters) 
      • February 23 Global storage of crude oil in supertankers rose to a high of at least 80 million barrels despite OPEC's oil supply cuts, Frontline, the world's largest tanker company, said. (Reuters) 
      • March 9: Royal Dutch Shell called a force majeure after a militant attack on its pipeline a week ago and force majeure is expected to be in place for the rest of March and all of April on oil shipments from the Forcados export terminal. Shell now has four force majeures in place in Nigeria, with most of these called in recent weeks. A Nigerian oil official said the assault disrupted around 50,000 to 100,000 barrels per day of production. (Dow Jones) 
      • March 12 The European Union imposed anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on imports of U.S. biodiesel, the latest in a series of trade frictions between the two trading partners. (Reuters) 
      • March 16: At its Vienna meeting on March 15, OPEC decided to stay with its existing supply targets. (Reuters) 
      • March 24: Since September, the number of U.S. rigs drilling for oil and natural gas has dropped almost 50 percent to 1,085 rigs, the quickest decline since 1986, according to data from oil services company Baker Hughes. (Reuters) 
      • April 2: Mexico’s finance ministry expects the country's crude oil exports to drop to 1.125 million barrels per day in 2010 from 1.370 million barrels per day forecast for this year. The giant Cantarell oil field has lost nearly two-thirds of its production capacity since peaking at over 2 million barrels per day in 2004. (Reuters) 
      • April 15 U.S. oil and natural gas drilling activity dropped to 2004 levels in the first quarter, the American Petroleum Institute said. The U.S. rig count has been declining from last fall's high of 2,031 rigs and is now less than half that at 1,005, according to the most recent report by Houston-based oil field services company Baker Hughes. (Houston Chronicle) 
      • May 22: The number of oil and natural gas rigs operating in the U.S. fell to its lowest level since February 2003 this week, according to data published by Baker Hughes Inc. Rigs exploring for or producing oil or gas declined to 900, a 55 percent drop from 1,992 on November 7, 2008. (Bloomberg) 
      • May 28 OPEC decided to keep its production quotas unchanged at its meeting in Vienna, banking on a recovery in oil demand toward the end of the year. Oil futures in New York have gained 42 percent this year to more than $63 a barrel on speculation that demand will revive as the global economy starts to recover. (Bloomberg) 
      • June 12 China processed a record volume of crude oil in May as increased factory output, higher agricultural consumption, and a jump in car sales boosted demand for fuel. The increase in fuel consumption lifted net crude imports to a 14-month high in May. Industrial production expanded 8.9 percent last month, boosting fuel use and adding to signs China is recovering from its worst slump in almost a decade. (Bloomberg) 
      • July 31 Iraq, holder of the world’s third-largest crude reserves, said it boosted oil exports to the highest level since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion during the month of July. An average of 2.037 million barrels of crude per day was exported out of a total production of about 2.5 million barrels a day, according to an Oil Ministry spokesman. (Bloomberg) 
      • August: 19 CBs extended The Joint statement on gold and committed to selling no more than a combined 400 millions ounces of gold through September 2014
      • September 2 British Petroleum reported a “giant” discovery at the Tiber Prospect in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico that may contain more than 3 billion barrels. The well is located about 250 miles southeast of Houston at a total depth of approximately 35,055 feet, greater than the height of Mount Everest. The latest discovery will help BP, already the biggest producer in the Gulf of Mexico, boost output in the region by 50 percent to 600,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day beyond 2020. (Bloomberg) 
      • September 9 The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), meeting in Vienna, said it will keep oil production quotas unchanged, banking on a recovery in the world economy to maintain prices. OPEC agreed to maintain total production quotas at 24.845 million barrels a day and will urge members to adhere to targets. (Bloomberg) 
      • October 2 Russia’s Energy Ministry reported that total petroleum production averaged 10 million barrels per day for the first time at the end of the 3rd quarter. The start-up of Rosneft’s Vankor field recently was the main contributor to Russia’s growth in oil production. (Nefte Compass) 
      • November: Ethiopia signed a deal on Tuesday for a Saudi firm to extract an estimated 20 tonnes of recoverable gold found in the Horn of African country last month, the mines and energy minister said.
      • November 11: Barrick shuts hedge book 
      • November 9-12 On 11/9, offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico began evacuating platforms and rigs in the path of Tropical Storm Ida. Shut-in production peaked on November 10, when 560,000 bbl/d (43% of offshore oil production) and 27.5 percent of gas output from the Gulf of Mexico were shut down as a precautionary measure, the U.S. Minerals Management Service said. By November 12, almost all of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico offshore oil and gas production disrupted by tropical storm Ida has been restored. (U.S. Minerals Management Service) 
      • November 13 The number of oil rigs operating in the U.S. this week jumped 8.7 percent to the highest this year, according to data published by Baker Hughes Inc. Oil rigs gained 29 to 361, the largest number of rigs added since Nov. 7, 2008, the same week the count peaked at 442, Baker Hughes said today. Natural gas rigs declined by 6, pulling the overall U.S. oil and gas rig count up 23, or 2.1 percent, to 1,101, the highest since March. Oil rigs have increased for 9 consecutive weeks as futures prices traded near the year’s highs. (Bloomberg)
      • December 2 Russia set a fourth consecutive monthly record for total petroleum liquids output in November to retain a position ahead of Saudi Arabia as the world's largest oil producer. Russia produced 10.1 million bbl/d, as more crude emerged from the new Arctic field of Vankor, run by state-controlled Rosneft, according to Energy Ministry data. (EIA, Reuters) 
      • December 22 The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to keep production targets unchanged at their meeting today in Luanda, Angola. OPEC maintained total production quotas at 24.845 million barrels a day. (Bloomberg) 
      • December 27 The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) has reached its current capacity, holding nearly 727 million barrels of crude oil, Energy Department data show.The SPR was set up in 1975 under an International Energy Agency plan to create a buffer against price shocks caused by supply shortages. The U.S., like other major industrial nations in the IEA, aims to have on hand in commercial and government-owned storage enough oil to cover 90 days of net imports.(Dow Jones)
      • European sovereign debt crisis causes the yen to rise to a nine-year high against the euro, rising up to 107 per euro.
      • Global standards for Islamic derivatives were set in 2010.
      • April 7: European Central bank raised its interest rate for the first time since 2008
      • November 2010: OPEC members collectively hold 79% of world crude oil reserves and 44% of the world’s crude oil production, affording them considerable control over the global market.

        • 18 February:  Banque de France FINANCIAL STABILITY LAUNCH Event, Paris
        • 25 February: Sri Lanka president calls for new world financial order  
        • April 2011: Iran inaugurated the third phase of oil bourse with vast opportunities for foreign companies. All types of contracts in the oil bourse will be based upon global standards of purchase and sale and in accordance with Islamic rules

        • In the USA, due to section 9006 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, starting on 1 January 2012, IRS tax form 1099 will be required for all purchases of goods and services that exceed $600 per calendar year. This new reporting requirement will cover precious metals. As of July 2010, the bullion industry is fighting the regulation.
        • September: next round of WAG? 

        Note: The decision to work on this Time-Line is that there is no (or I have not found yet) exhaustive chronology where oil-gold-politics is in one place. The work on this one will continue for some time.

        Most credit to: wikipedia, if not otherwise stated source is wiki.

        Other sources include: Dow Jones (DJ), New York Times (NYT), and the Washington Post (WP).
        astm (
        Associated Press (AP)
        Deutsche Welle (DW)
        Dow Jones (DJ)
        Department of Interior Mineral Management Service (MMS)
        Financial Times (FT)
        Global Insight (GI)
        International Oil Daily (IOD)
        Lloyd’s List
        Los Angeles Times (LAT)
        The New York Times (NYT)
        USA Today ( USA )
        The Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
        The Washington Post (WP)
        World Markets Research Centre (WMRC)
        Contact Info

        The Privateer


              1. Wow Mortymer, I really like this timeline.

                Thanks for putting in all of this effort!

                - Pete

              2. My timeline starts a bit earlier than yours... I think 1694 is a key date, but not the only one. Everything Freegold is tied up with the current system and its misappropriation of value, and this began (again) with the creation of the Bank and debt as money.

                Seed is sown.

              3. Blondie - I try to be more focused on the Oil-gold-politics link. Roots of Freegold go very very far as is e.g. in the known essay about "carrying your wealth with you" and about traces of gold found on battlefields and along silk road.

              4. Mortymer,

                Thanks for the work you put into this great timeline. It's a great help.

              5. Hi there, what is 'the privateer' that you quote so often? Is it a book I can buy?

              6. @Jeb:

              7. Thank you mortymer, the information you provide is invaluable to me.

              8. Timeline Oil, OPEC:


              9. 31 Dec 1974 Comex Gold futures launched in tandem with the 1933 ban on private US gold holdings being repealed.

                Co-incidentally seems to meet the specs ("A SPECIAL INDEXED BOND WOULD HAVE TO BE CREATED WHOSE MARKETABILITY WOULD BE ASSURED") as mentioned here on 29 April 1974.

              10. AE - since you are here - check those 2 out:


              11. How? Just before your eyes!
                Nobody could see it, exactly as Another stated. Right?
                Note that in docs there is that there were 2 connected issues - the sale of the 2mil US gold which as a sample confirmed (a report from SUI - that Kuwait will buy it in one go and shoot the price to moon) and that the the end of the US ban on gold was postponed for 6months.

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